THE TRANSHUMANISM SCRAPBOOK: RAT BRAINS NOW LINKED VIA COMPUTER INTO ...
As the following article indicates, there may be more truth than cartoon fantasy in the old cartoon "Pinky and the Brain." In the cartoon, you'll recall, two lab rats suddenly achieve all the hallmarks of super-intelligence. The trouble was, as the little theme song of the cartoon pointed out, that this made one of the lab rats, "Pinky," quite insane, and the other("Brain"), a kind of rodent-version of Dr. Strangelove, a mad genius rat with a huge cranium, shady eyes, bent on world domination. This article shared by Ms. M.W. raises all sorts of possibilities for high octane speculation:
For the purposes of our daily dose of high octane speculation, consider these remarks:
The researchers performed a series of experiments to test the animal superminds. In each case, they implanted electrical arrays in the creatures' brains, linked the group up with wires, and trained them to synchronize their neural activity. In one challenge, thirsty rats were denied water until they matched their thoughts together.
In another, a group of three connected monkeys was tasked with controlling a computer-generated avatar projected on a screen. Each monkey was responsible for moving the avatar’s arm along a particular plane, with real monkeys having to work together to help the digital monkey hit the target. “As the animals gained more experience and training in the motor task,” the authors write, “researchers found that they adapted to the challenge.”
And then this:
These rats and monkeys are living examples of what Nicolelis and his team call “Brainets” — animal brains linked together by electrode arrays, smarter together than they ever were apart. (Emphasis added)
And finally, this:
The Brainet dream first took hold in 2013, when the group connected two rat brains. In the accompanying paper, also published in Scientific Reports, they describe an experiment in which they showed one rat how to feed itself by pressing one of two levers, and connected that rat’s brain to the brain of a different, untutored rat faced with the same setup. The first rat then “taught” the second rat how to get food, via thought transmission.When rat #2 made a mistake, the rats were able to telepathically clear up the confusion.
At the time, Nicolelis called this one more step toward “an organic computer,” able to solve problems without being given explicit instructions. “In theory, you could imagine that a combination of brains could provide solutions that individual brains cannot achieve by themselves,” he said. (Emphasis added)
I suppose it doesn't take a German rocket scientist to figure out the obvious latent dangers of such a system, if applied to humans. Imagine only a "super-brain" or "super-interface" with all of its social engineering implications, denying a population water or food or other essential life-sustaining items or services, "until they matched their thoughts together." It is the ultimate Orwellian nightmare, since the "thought police" wouldn't be a bunch of corrupt bureaucrats in Washington, London, Paris, or Madrid, it would be corrupt technocrats, data managers, and scientists at remote and unknown computer monitors, running "experiments" for "the greater good of mankind," with themselves as the priests interpreting what "orthodoxies" and "thoughts" are "acceptable" and which are heresies and hence, unacceptable. It is the obviousness of such a scheme - which has been around ever since Spanish "psychologist" and "neuroscientist" Dr. Jose Delgado first proposed the psychotronic control of the mind and a psychotronically regulated and controlled population. To demonstate the potentialities, Dr. Delgado, you'll recall, entered a bullring with nothing more than a pushbutton. As the bull charged him, he simply pressed the button, and the bull came to a complete stop, thanks to the electronic implant in its brain.
But there are other potentialities here, less obvious ones, and they concern those possibilities of "an organic computer, able to solve problems without being given explicit instructions". Imagine such a "network" among carefully selected, and particularly intelligent and gifted humans, who, if the observations about rats and monkeys holds true in the human case, might be "smarter together than they ever were apart." One might be tempted to form such an ad hoc network of "linked together geniuses" who then constitute themselves, by dint of that link, as a kind of "super-intelligence". We hear a lot, lately, about the dangers of artificial intelligence, but we hear little about the potential dangers of "organic" computers and the possibilities of linked human beings. Such a group, if ever formed - and who's to say it might not have already been formed - would be potentially in the position to dominate various institutions behind the scenes, to outthink them. It would be a kind of "Mendelov Conspiracy" of scientists working, not with UFOs or exotic propulsion systems, but with information and social engineering, and, yes, possibly with those hidden technologies. It would take the "think tank" to a whole new level. There is yet another danger here, and that is that the innate sense of morality that most individuals have and share, might not be "translatable" to such a "super-network," constituting it as the ultimate sociopathic nightmare, "thinking" without moral restraints. it would be the ne plus ultra of the "breakaway civilizations" idea of ufologist Richard Dolan.
See you on the flip side...
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